This is a guest post by Steve Stewart. Steve is a Personal Finance Ambassador and Rich Media Coach. He launched his first podcast in 2010, is the Editor for Podertainment Magazine, and organizes the St. Louis Podcaster’s MeetUp Group. Steve is offering a discounted price for podcast coaching - just tell him you read about him here! You can reach him at http://SteveStewart.me/contact
Let’s face it: Small business owners don’t have a team of marketers hammering out new commercials and our advertising budgets limit how many times our brand is presented to our prospects.
However, the internet and social media has leveled the playing field. Our ads are presented to our ideal clients on Facebook, our Tweets show up at the same time as an advertised post, and customers can reach our websites just as easily as Amazon or DonaldJTrump.com.
How can we beat big businesses in a world that has been flattened by the internet?
It’s easy; Go after the ones who don’t read blogs.
Who is this rare breed of customer?
I have found a complete subsection of consumers who don’t read blogs. They are always on the go and their hands are busy. They want to learn or be entertained but watching videos at work just isn’t realistic.
Who is this rare breed? Actually, they aren’t rare at all. They read news articles and watch YouTube - but they aren’t doing it all the time. Studies have shown a majority of this demographic are white collar professionals, middle income family members, and college educated.
Want to know how to get their attention?
Get in front of your customer’s ears
There is one place most big businesses have not yet ventured. This is where we can plant our flag and claim our territory: In our customer’s ears.
- What are people doing while driving to-and-from work? They aren’t watching Netflix (or shouldn’t be!)
- What are people doing while jogging or walking the dog? I doubt Spot would appreciate us watching cat videos during his morning walk.
- What are people doing while mowing the lawn? No much, but they could be listening to their mobile devices!
That’s where we come in. We can be the solution to a very boring task. We can entertain, educate, and offer our services to a segment of the population who can’t read, watch, or hold a conversation with another person.
How, you might ask? It’s called Podcasting.
What is Podcasting?
Think of your favorite morning talk show or late night TV personality. Now, take the audio and put it on the internet. Better yet: Put the audio into something that allows subscribers to get to the audio when they want to.
A podcast is like a show you record on a DVR: You subscribe to the listing, the fancy electronic gadgets do all the work, and you consume the recordings when you want to. Every time a new episode is released, our customers get more free content - automatically.
There are a number of ways people can listen: On their computers, on their smartphones and tablets, or on those old fashion MP3 players. And there are hundreds of services to make podcasts easy to find and consume podcasts: iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc… not to mention a few dozen free smartphone apps.
How does a podcast work for Small Business?
A podcast can work just as well, if not better, than a blog. In fact, creating podcast episodes based on blog posts is not a bad idea. Take, for instance, the You Need A Budget Podcast. Jesse Mecham, founder of this unique and amazing personal budgeting software, spends a couple minutes each week reading something he wrote.
The content must be relevant to your industry; otherwise it’s a waste of time. Don’t talk about politics if you sell mattresses - unless they are somehow connected during the Primaries (insert inappropriate joke here).
The point is to give your prospects and customers a regular dose of free content for TOMA (Top Of Mind Awareness). Studies have shown the more exposures (or impressions) a company makes over time, the more likely a customer trusts you.
Remember: Customers buy from businesses they know, like, and trust. Getting into our customer’s ears on a regular basis allows them to get to know us, over time they learn to like us, and it’s only a matter of time before a healthy level of trust develops.
Beat Big Business by Getting Into Your Customer’s Ears
Text is impersonal and cold.
Video can be powerful, but are often interrupted by commercials or pop-up ads (have you SEEN YouTube lately?)
Podcasts are an intimate medium that allows our listeners to get to know us on their own terms, on their own schedule, and gives them the opportunity to pre-qualify them as our customers.
Call to Action
Want to learn more? Go listen to some podcasts before thinking about diving in. Here are some recommended business podcasts:
When you are ready, give me a call. I’d love to help you beat big businesses by getting into your customer’s ears.